Saturday, January 2, 2010

Burnham Beech Memoirs

More often than not, I've looked forward to the New Year's Eve while forgetting the wonderful New Year's day that is guaranteed to follow.  For instance, this year we were with family in London!  Like other years, there were wonderful people (family and new friends), good food (a yummy 7 courses), fun games (we created a "draw your resolutions from a hat" game), good music (starting off the decade right by playing guitar into the night), and, of course, counting down - this year, we counted down while watching fireworks flying from the London Eye (see image below) and listening to Big Ben - very different from the ball-dropping traditions of Times Square, NY!
Yes, New Year's Eve was wonderful and familiar, but New Year's day was fresh and new!  We set off with the family for Burnham Beeches (I thought we were heading to a beach, but no...beeches) to perambulate around the forests which evoke images and feelings of a rich, royal history, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, and a delicacy that is not generally as present in the Pacific Northwest.  As mentioned in previous blog posts (like this one on east coast woods), I'm amazed by the difference in sensations, smells, and sights of different woods.  Having grown up with woods as a key character in my childhood play time, I had no idea how much I was affected by the variety of forests that one can encounter in this world.  It makes me excited to explore more.  Burnham Beeches was packed with everyone and their dog soaking up the chilly, yet sunny New Year's day.  Frozen ponds and bogs were scattered throughout the forests and plaques at the bases of trees shared a history of inspiration (i.e., specific locations amongst the beeches inspired Mendelssohn to write certain movements in "A Midsummer Night's Dream").  The trees themselves, gnarled with stories in each of their branches, were reminiscent of the thousands of years that this land has been occupied, captured, fought over, shared, owned, and worked.  As much as Steve and I have been in awe of the architecture and man-made history of this town, who knew the forests could share so much?
After a stop off at a "proper country pub" (right) for a warm up, we returned to a lazy evening of movies, knitting, emailing, Bananagrams, and hanging out with the fam.  A great start to a new year and a new decade.  Happy New Year, all, from the forests of yonder year across the pond!  


  1. I must say that I do like your photography as well as your writing. Keep it up.

  2. Hi there Abe,
    Thanks for checking out the site, glad you enjoy!